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we should allow euthanasia of those living tortured lives

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/7/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 698 times Debate No: 24139
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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we should allow euthanasia of those living tortured lives.

why euthanasia is the moral solution in this situation:
-most people's biggest fear isn't death... it's pained living. that's why the "torture" debate is so gut wrenching and passion filled.
-we understand intuitiely that we should put dog's "out of their misery", as the humane thing to do. why with people is it suddenly inhumane? there is some merit to claiming people aren't dogs and have a higher dignity... but this argument about dignity could even more easily be used the other way, it's all the more reason to be humane and "put them out of their misery", espeically when we are thinking it's about humane activity etc to begin with in the one situation.
-liberty. at best this is a tough issue. why do we let the government decide who's right in a tough issue, when the person this is affecting most could be the decider? plus if you were real about it... probably a high percentage of those who might be against euthanasia would suddenly be for it if they found themself (or possibly a loved one) in a terrible situation.


In the past, I've always taken a stance of pro-euthanasia, but I've recently done thinking on this. I'll do my best to address each of your points with my new (con) standpoint, and will add a point of my own afterwards.

Regarding the average person's greatest fear, I can understand that, personally. I do not know if it truly is, but I can concede that point easily.

I would, however, contest that we "intuitively" know to put a dog out of it's misery, and I would submit that in many (though not all) cases is is morally reprehensible to do so, just as it is, in my opinion, with humans. One does not "intuitively know" very much. Indeed, intuition is almost always related to vague feelings and sense like one's kinesthetic sense, or rough calculations or vectors done by the subconscious brain, such as while driving. I will detail my stance on the morals of putting an animal, or a human, out of it's misery in the next paragraph.

Regarding one's liberty, I fully agree that one should be able to do anything they desire that does not harm another. However, taking one's life has many thorny moral issues. Euthanasia is something that should only be considered when one has no chance of their life improving. In certain situations, you can, as stated before, put an animal out of it's misery with a reasonable assumption that it's life will not improve even with the fullest efforts on the part of all parties. However, it is difficult to discern where that line is. Additionally, and particularly with humans, it is impossible to determine with complete certainty whether or not coercion was involved. If one is coerced to euthanasia, than it is not euthanasia - it is not a killing of mercy - it is a killing of murder, which we can reasonably assume is morally defunct.
Debate Round No. 1


sure, we can't just trust our own emotion. reason must be involved. however, one's gut is what is used after considering all reasoned arguments.... and my gut, and i'd image more people's guts, tell them that tortured living with no room for improvement is now worth living.

if it is difficult to discern when one will not improve, why not leave the matter to the individual? why invovle the government? what fundamentally gives them the right ot decide the issue? we could at least makes laws that allow the discretion to be left to the individual unless "it is clear that improvement will occur to a reasonable extent at a reasonable rate"... or something like that. surely, though, it would probably be better to leave it to the individual to decide, leave the government out of it, as a matter of an inherent liberty interest.
if you want to outlaw arbitrarily taking one's life, fine, sure. but that doesn't mean we should out law everything. or force people to live tortured lives, or prosecute those who simply want to help them end their life in a dignified and responsible and apprpriate way.

we can make laws that criminalize cooercive euthanasia. as long as empirical data shows that at least by far most euthanasia is consentual by the person dying, then we will just have to take the good with the bad. we cant throw the baby out with the bath water just because of a few bad cases.


If one is using one's "gut" in a reasoned argument, there's a sullen lack of reason. Emotions are variable, easy to manipulate, and often set on false assumptions. With logic, properly utilized, you can strip all of that away.

It absolutely is difficult to discern whether or not one will improve, but leaving it to the individual still leaves faults. As I stated before, coercion is still a distinct possibility even with an individual. Say I were one's doctor, and I wanted one dead. Now, if I were to do anything obvious - withhold treatment, or deliberately harm one - I would get sued and arrested. But if I were to, say, accidentally forget to prescribe enough painkillers, causing one to feel more pain than one should, or prescribe ones that are not as effective as could be safely taken, I would be contributing to one's desire for euthanasia. It would, however, still be murder. Very difficult to prove, if not impossible, and easily dismissed with "I was wrong."

I would argue that it would be immoral to run a trial to see if coercive euthanasia is a severe problem in the first place, as it would, by nature, involve coercive euthanasia - murder - even assuming we can determine whether it was coercive or not.
Debate Round No. 2


when one is talking about fundametnal values, one must examine one's emotion, or gut. there is no way around it. everyone has lots of opinions on lots of things that vary from each other... this doesn't mean that only one person is right because they used reason and everyone else didn't... it means different people used reason, then referred to their emotion, their fundametnal values, in deciding which posiotion to espouse.

it may have faults in determining whether one improves or not. by you have not reasoned why the government should be the arbiter, when this is a difficult issue, and it affeccts the person tortured most directly.
also i think you are mixing up the topics of improvement with coercion as you jumped from the one topic to the other as if they were together.

so if one person dies becdause of coercion, we should allow a thousand others to live tortured lives? public policy is always about balancing intersts, weighing the good and the bad. it just does not seem like itd be all that common to have people coerced into taking their own life. the benefit of relieving torture and liberty etc then outweighs it.
this is almost like saying people shouldn't drive because soemone might strike them on the road.... or someone shouldn't write a will cause sometimes people coerce them, or enter into a contract cause people coerce them sometimes, etc. i agree the loss of a life is more serious than these things... but the point is that we don't throw the baby out with the bath water and weight all intersts for how they come out on balance.

obviously we could have safeguards such as living wills do... they desribe what you want should you be in a life ending sitaution. this way we can make it formal, have peple like attorneys present to probe for cooercion, make sure it's thought out, make sure it's in writing... etc.


Bronnwynn forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Bronnwynn 6 years ago
I'd like to apologize - I had some real life crop up and could not finish the debate. I accept the round forfeiture, however.
Posted by SpecialAgentDaleCooper 6 years ago
I agree with dairygirl. Surviving isn't the most important part of life. When quality of life goes away, keeping someone alive artificially or making it illegal for them to end their own lives is immoral.
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